So I just got a sudden brilliant idea about Yuya and his counterparts.
We’ve all been trying to compare each counterpart to their previous series protagonist. But I’ve just noticed some similarities with DIFFERENT series protagonists.
Namely; Yuya and Judai, Yuto and Yusei, Yugo and Yuma, Yuri and Yami Yugi
Let’s start with our protagonist, Yuya. At the start of the series, Yuya had a happy-go-lucky personality and firmly believed that Duel Monsters should be played to have fun. At the beginning of GX, Judai had a fun-loving personality and always had fun with Duel Monsters, believing that there wasn’t much point to the game otherwise.
However, both of them have dark secrets in their past. Yuya keeps a smile on his face to hide his emotional turmoil about his missing father. Judai may not remember it for half the series, but Yubel’s effect on his friends ended up having some major impact on the plot as a whole.
Yuya and Judai also had darker sides that completely took over the original personalities and were TERRIFYING (and also awesome). Judai managed to master his, time will tell if Yuya can do the same.
Also, both GX and Arc-V ended up completely breaking the protagonists, moreso than any other YGO series there is.
Deckwise, Yuya shares more similarities with Yugi than with Judai, but there are a few key cards that appear to be direct references to GX.
Here’s Odd-Eyes Pendulum Dragon (this is the best picture of its face I could find).
Look closely at its eyes. Left is green, right is red, matching the red-green color scheme of Pendulum Monsters and giving it its name of “Odd-Eyes”. Except…the rest of its colored orbs are green on the right and red on the left. If you look at a Pendulum Monster, the colored arrows match the orbs on Odd-Eyes body. So why are the eyes switched?
Wait a minute…don’t we know somebody else with heterochromatic eyes?
Judai’s past self, Haou or Supreme King, even gets namedropped several times. Odd-Eyes Rebellion Dragon’s full Japanese name is “Haou Kokuryuu Oddoaizu Riberion Doragon” - “Odd-Eyes Rebellion Dragon the Supreme King Black Dragon”. And its Equip spell in Episode 88 is “Haou no Tsubasa”, meaning “Wings of the Supreme King”.
A few more related tidbits: both have the most ‘normal’ hair of the protagonists, Yuya mastered Fusion Summoning (Judai’s trademark) first, and both ended up traveling between dimensions.
Our next point of interest is Yuto, from the XYZ Dimension. Yuto is calm, stoic, clear-minded, and analytical, very much like Yusei of 5D’s. Another notable trait they share is their unwillingness to let others get hurt, which is reflected in their decks. Yuto’s deck is very defensive, focused on stalling, while Yusei’s trademark Stardust Dragon has an ability geared around protecting its allies. Both of them also come from a ruined home - Yusei’s home was destroyed by Zero Reverse, while Yuto’s was destroyed by the Academy’s invasion. They also share similar motivations; Yuto wants peace, while Yusei wants to unite the two halves of the city.
Yugo has a cheerful, bouncy, and silly personality, very much like Yuma’s. Both are also impulsive and short-tempered, to the point where it can affect their dueling. Finally, both of them appear to have a positive affect on their opponents, like how Yugo’s Duel with Serena resulted in her learning to have fun with a Duel.
Yuri is going to be the hardest, seeing as we know almost nothing about him. What we DO know is that he follows the Professor because he thinks it’s fun, and he appears to have some obsession with games, as we saw when he captured Ruri. And anyone’s who’s watched Season 0 of Yu-gi-oh! can think of another person who was psychotic, creepy, and loved playing games with his victims - at least until he got some character development. Foreshadowing, maybe?